The purpose of the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) program, which is also known as the Section 121 Program, is to provide grants to the governing bodies of Indian Tribes to develop or to increase their capacity to provide a program of vocational rehabilitation services, in a culturally relevant manner, to American Indians with disabilities residing on or near federal or state reservations. The program’s goal is to assist American Indians with disabilities, consistent with such individuals’ strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice, so that such individuals may prepare for, and engage in, high-quality employment that will increase opportunities for economic self-sufficiency. Program services are provided under an individualized plan for employment and may include native healing services.
Ed.gov: Rehabilitation Service Administration. (2022). American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services, CFDA Number: 84.250. Program Type: Discretionary/Competitive Grants, Retrieved from https://rsa.ed.gov/about/programs/american-indian-vocational-rehabilitation-services
Shoshones lived in western Wyoming and the Wind River Mountains for at least 3500 years, perhaps 8,000 years ago. They still maintained strong ties to their homelands along the Green, Bear, Snake, and Salmon rivers. Then deadly smallpox epidemics in the 1780s, combined with attacks by their foes, forced Shoshones to retreat west of the Rocky Mountains to their Idaho and western Wyoming homelands.
Washakie is the best-known Eastern Shoshone leader, and his personal history demonstrates the fluid nature of Eastern Shoshone origins. Washakie was invited to the vast majority of councils with Mormon and U.S. government officials in concerns of Shoshone affairs. Washakie signed the 1868 Treaty of Fort Bridger, and he successfully claimed the Wind River Reservation for the Eastern Shoshones. However, for many decades after the Treaty, fighting and new treaties took place over the lands between settlers, other tribes, and the government.
From 1940 to now, The Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes have separate governments and share the land. Once banned by the government, cultural traditions and ceremonies are now celebrated and encouraged. These include rituals such as the sweat lodge, Sun Dance, Ghost Dance, and the Native American Church. Beadwork, powwow dancing, and other traditional practices thrive to the delight of tribal members and non-tribal visitors alike. In addition, both tribes are attempting to preserve their native language.
“The rights of every person are diminished when the rights of one person are threatened.”